Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said he will be issuing cease-and-desist orders to close Hobby Lobby stores at a press conference today.
The corporate chain of craft stores has remained open through the shelter-in-place that closed all businesses not deemed essential.
“I would just encourage everyone at Hobby Lobby, particularly in management, that you go ahead and lock up and leave as soon as possible,” Jenkins said. “It’s a slap in the face to businesses that are following this order that a few outliers are putting the community in danger.”
While he specifically called out Hobby Lobby, the message was for all craft stores and any other businesses — he specifically named smoke shops — that have remained open and do not meet the Critical Infrastructure and Security Act standards of essential businesses.
However, Jenkins also praised the citizens of Texas and Dallas County for their cooperation and their efforts of practicing social distancing.
“I think this state is much safer today than we have been for the last two weeks now that the whole state is doing the Stay at Home model,” Jenkins said. “I think we’re making good progress.”
Jenkins also read an advisory statement from Gov. Greg Abbott concerning religious institutions. The statement said that places of worship in counties with high amounts of community spread could be ordered to not hold in-person meetings. Jenkins said he spoke with many religious leaders and has determined that all places of worship in Dallas will continue to be done online, over-the-phone or in a drive-thru setting.
He reminded Dallas residents of the importance of doing their part by practicing personal responsibility. He said to take fewer people when running errands and to practice sacrifice instead of selfishness. Jenkins said if everyone exercises these precautions, then conditions will get better.
“We can do this,” Jenkins said. “We are going to make it through this. We are gonna have some tough times together, but we’re gonna stick together now that we have the whole state working together.”
One hundred new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Dallas County today, bringing the total to 831. Two deaths were also reported in the county, making the total 17.
This comes the same day that coronavirus cases reached one million worldwide and 245,070 cases in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University.